Litchi: Benefits And Virtues

Litchi: Benefits And Virtues
Litchi: Benefits And Virtues

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Litchi or Litchi Chinensis is a fruit whose properties give it many health benefits and virtues.

It belongs to the Sapindaceae family. This fruit tree is native to China hence its nickname "Cherry Tree of China". In its environment, hot and humid, this tree can reach twenty meters.

This atypical, round-shaped, white-fleshed and sweet fruit and its pink peel is available from November to January only.

There are many varieties of lychee, but only a few are present on our shelves.

We love lychee, both for its exoticism and for its benevolent properties for our health and beauty.

Lychee is a fruit from a tree named Litchi chinensis , a tropical tree species native to southern China 1 . This tree can reach up to 20 meters and produces high quantities of lychee, from 100 to 150 kg per year. It is also grown in India, Thailand, South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Australia and the United States. It is a close relative of longan and rambutan.

It measures between 2 and 5 cm and is surrounded by a thin, rough shell, which becomes rigid after picking. However, it has the advantage of being easy to peel. The fruit stops to ripen after picking. At full maturity, the hull is red or pink. If the hull is tarnished or browned, it is because the fruit is too old. The flesh is white, translucent, juicy, fragrant and very sweet. Lychee also has a brown, smooth, central core that is not edible.

The taste of lychee is often compared to a mixture of strawberry, rose and muscatel.

It tolerates cold weather, transportation and time to market very badly.

Litchi, for the little story  :

China has been growing lychee for over 2,000 years before our era.   True symbol of happiness, lychee was offered as offerings to the Emperors. In the past, lychee was already used for its antalgic properties.

Then the lychee arrived in France during the 18th century then spread on the French Islands (Reunion and Madagascar), which today cultivate lychee.

Litchi: health benefits and virtues 

Lychee has many virtues.

First, the lychee soothes the pains. It is an effective analgesic in case of headaches and stomach pains.

Like most fruits, lychee is high in fiber (1.5 g). They regulate intestinal transit and facilitate digestion . Thus lychee relieves constipation and relieves pain and heartburn . It is ideal to soothe our digestive system after the end of the year marathon.

> Lychee, an anti-cancer  :

Lychee is an interesting source of antioxidants . These neutralize free radicals, harmful to our health and responsible for certain cancers and other diseases.

As antioxidants we obviously find vitamin C , involved in the immune system. It stimulates our defense system against attacks of certain pathogens (especially viral)

> Lychee for our cardiovascular system:

Lychee reduces the rate of bad cholesterol and accumulation of it in the arteries.

In addition, it provides potassium , the main ion of the intracellular medium. It is essential in cardiac contraction and in the regulation of blood pressure.

Thus lychee limits the risks of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes .

Internal use: It is recommended to drink a glass of lychee juice daily.

The health effects of lychee

Vitamin C

Lychee is a good source of vitamin C. The daily requirements for an adult range from 75 to 90 mg per day. The consumption of 100 g of lychee makes it possible to reach between 80 to 95% of its needs. In addition to its role as an antioxidant and reducing oxidative stress, vitamin C helps maintain skin integrity, helps heal wounds, protects cells from premature aging caused by free radicals and facilitates immune functions 2 . In addition, it facilitates the absorption of non-heme iron of plant origin.


Lychee is also a source of potassium. Like sodium, potassium is an essential mineral that provides several necessary functions in the human body. With the help of sodium, it helps maintain the acid-base balance of the body and it controls the pH inside the cells. It is also essential for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction. It is also involved in the proper functioning of the kidneys and adrenal glands, as well as protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, sufficient intakes of potassium would be associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease 3 .

The use of lychee

Lychees are sold fresh or canned. They can also be dried or candied. We will choose rather fresh lychees with a colored skin and not crumpled. They can be kept refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag for a few weeks, or in the freezer in their hull. If they are stored at room temperature, they must be consumed within 48 hours otherwise they tend to ferment and become acidic.  

To consume it, remove the shell with your fingers or a knife, taking care not to cut the flesh.
Uses of lychee:

Raw as a snack or at the end of a meal as a dessert;
Fruit salads;







Accompaniment of vegetables, rice, fish and seafood.

> Lychee for weight loss:

This exotic fruit offers a reasonable 66 kcal / 100 g. Lychee is part of a healthy diet. Of course you must not abuse it.

> Lychee, an anti-fatigue:

Athletes love it because lychee is known to help tone muscles . In addition, it is very effective to stimulate you in case of fatigue. It is also recommended for pregnant women.

Lychee also contains vitamins of group B, which are involved in cholesterol reduction and in the production of red blood cells, carrying oxygen.

It also contains many minerals and trace elements essential for the proper functioning of the body such as calcium for healthy bones and teeth, the iron against anemia, as well as sodium, the phosphorus and magnesium.

Lychee in the kitchen  :

Lychee is 80% water. It brings 15 g of carbohydrates and no lipids.

How to cook lychee to enjoy its virtues?

Lychee can be eaten as sweet as salted, raw cooked.

In fruit salad , lychee will bring exoticism. It goes very well with coconut or grapefruit.

We also like it in sorbet, in cocktails, jam and why not foam or clafoutis ?

We use the litchi flowers, white and without petal, to make an excellent honey , which you will love.

Lychee is inviting in your dishes. It has its place with chicken curry or prawns. But also with raw fish.
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